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Best Probiotics for Dogs

Today, some dogs have it better than ever. Many of us buy our dogs their own plush beds, high-end food, Halloween costumes, and special treats. With all that pampering, have you ever wondered what other aspects of your dog’s life you may be able to improve? One of the most important aspects you can improve is your dog’s health, since a healthy dog can often live a longer and happier life. Often people are surprised to find out that probiotics may be able to help optimize their dog’s health. You’ve likely heard about probiotics for people, whether they’re trying to support healthy digestion or optimize their immune systems. But did you know that probiotics can also be given to dogs? The best probiotic for dogs gives your furry friend a chance to support his overall health by targeting the digestive system. To understand our pick for the best probiotic for dogs, we’ll first look at what a probiotic is, and why they matter. 


Probiotics and the gut

The first step in understanding the best probiotic for dogs is to think about what probiotics are, and where in the body they take action. Probiotics are supplements that allow you to boost your healthy bacteria. Even though we may think of bacteria as something harmful, it’s not always true. Some bacteria are unhealthy, but some are very healthy. Probiotics deliver selective strains of healthy bacteria into the digestive tract. This is true for people, but also true for dogs. In many ways, we have similar anatomy to our furry friends, and the importance of gut bacteria is one of those similarities. The digestive tract has real estate that can be taken up with bacteria - either the good type or the bad type. All dogs are inevitably going to have a mix of bacteria, but probiotics allow you to help Fido optimize that mix by adding more of the health bacteria into his or her digestive tract. 


What happens when a dog lacks good bacteria in the gut

You won’t necessarily know when your dog has a low amount of good bacteria in the gut, but there are some signs to look out for. Digestive issues like constipation and diarrhea can be linked to an excess of “bad” bacteria and a lack of healthy bacteria. Additionally, even if your dog has a great community of good bacteria, a bout of diarrhea can knock out the healthy ones. That’s one reason that giving your dog a probiotic regularly can be a good idea. It gives your dog’s gut a chance to replenish the healthy bacteria they may be losing on an ongoing basis. A lack of good bacteria can also affect your dog’s immune system significantly, because the gut is actually the center of the immune system (just like in people). Good bacteria can help your dog stay healthy, so even though you can’t tell for sure if a sick dog has a lack of good bacteria, optimizing his or her health is a step in the right direction. This is where the best probiotics for dogs can play an important role in your dog’s regimen. 


Importance of immune support in dogs

The ability to support the immune system is one of the most important features of the best probiotic supplements. After all, the strength of our immune systems can literally mean the difference between sickness and health - in dogs and in people. Not only is keeping your dog healthy good for your dog, but it can be good for the 2-legged members of your family also. Studies show that infections can be passed from dogs to people. When an infection or disease can be passed from animals to people it is known as zoonotic. Research shows that these zoonotic infections can be spread in many ways including through direct contact like petting your dog, or indirect contact like cleaning their water bowl. A great probiotic supplement can support your dog’s immune system to not only allow your dog a better chance at health, but the people in your family as well. Because the gut is the center of the immune system, healthy bacteria are able to promote healthy immunity by acting within the digestive system. 


Shelter Dogs - a study on probiotics and diarrhea

An interesting study was performed to see if probiotics had the potential to have a positive effect on severe diarrhea. The researchers studied dogs in shelters, who tend to have significant GI distress related to their circumstances, including stress colitis. Half of the dogs were given a more traditional treatment of antibiotics. The other half of the dogs were given probiotics. The dogs who got the antibiotics and the dogs who got the probiotics, responded equally well to the treatment. This result shows promise for probiotics in dogs, especially since antibiotics can have negative side effects that are not seen with probiotics. 


Now that we’ve covered the important role probiotics can play in optimizing your dog’s digestive health, we’ll look at the best probiotic for dogs. 


What to look for in the best probiotic for dogs

Choosing the right probiotic for your dog can be tricky, especially because many probiotic companies make misleading claims. When you’re looking for the best probiotic for your dog, consider the following questions:

  1. Is this probiotic microbiologically pure?
  2. Are the potencies of the strains of good bacteria guaranteed?
  3. Have the probiotics been chosen by experts, and backed by scientifically sound research?
  4. Are the probiotics shipped and stored in an environment that will keep their potency intact?
  5. Can you trust that the company behind the probiotics is committed to the highest standards of safety and excellence?

If you can’t answer Yes to every one of these questions, then the probiotic you’re choosing is not the best one. Natren’s Caninedophilus allows dog owners to feel great about the supplement they are giving their dogs, because Natren probiotics allow you to say Yes to each question above. 


Caninedophilus: the best probiotic for dogs

Caninedophilus includes a total of at least 6 billion cfu of Lactobacillus acidophilus, NAS super strain amd Enterococcus faecium, NCIMB 10415 super strain in every 2 grams. This probiotic helps to support your dog’s intestinal health and helps to maintain healthy intestinal flora. 


During times that your dog needs extra support, or enhanced care, we recommend giving Caninedophilus every day for a week. Dogs up to 30 pounds can have a 2 gram serving once per day, and dogs over 30 pounds can have a 2 gram serving twice per day. As a regular supplement to your dog’s healthy routine, we recommend giving Caninedophilus twice weekly for dogs weighing up to 30 pounds and three times a week for dogs weighing more than 30 pounds. You can either give Caninedophilus to your dog by squeezing the dose into his or her mouth, or you can put it on top of their food. 


Your dog’s health matters, and that’s why Natren is committed to making the highest quality of probiotics for dogs as well as people. Visit our website at natren.com to learn more or shop for the best probiotics for dogs. 

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